We are forever broken: families react to sentencing of fatal crash driver

Parents react to sentence for crash that killed three Bellbrook teens. (WDTN Photo)
Parents react to sentence for crash that killed three Bellbrook teens. (WDTN Photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Family members of three Bellbrook teens killed in a crash say they found only injustice in Columbus where the young man responsible for the crash was sentenced.

Jesse Whitaker pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in connection with crash November 2012.  He is now living in Columbus, so his sentencing was held in Franklin County Juvenile Court.  Magistrate Lorenzo Sanchez knew little about the case and that frustrated relatives of the victims.

Lisa Sikorski is Julianna Hawk’s aunt. “He’s saying there are four dead girls, there were only three which just added insult to this entire case,” said Sikorski.

Bellbrook triple teen fatal.  (WDTN Photo)
Bellbrook triple teen fatal. (WDTN Photo)

Whitaker cried in court as he apologized to relatives of Hawk, Sophie Kerrigan, and Skylar Kooken, but his words meant nothing to Sophie’s mom, Janet Carpenter.

“I felt nothing really, absolutely nothing for his apology. I know I’m sure he is hurting, supposedly they were his friends. Not that I knew of him. I really feel nothing,” said Carpenter.

Kelly Kooken told the court, “We are forever broken.”  However, she said it would be better to have Whitaker serve the community than serve time.

Magistrate Sanchez sentenced Whitaker to two years probation, he suspended his driver’s license until he turns 21. Whitaker is now 19, and the magistrate ordered him to complete 300 hours of community service.

Sanchez told 2 NEWS he was working off the pre-sentence investigation which had recommended not even probation.

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